Judge excluded blog in praise of Allison Baden-Clay

Gerard Baden-Clay entering the church.
Gerard Baden-Clay entering the church. David Nielsen

MURDERER Gerard Baden-Clay went to great lengths during his testimony to discredit his wife Allison's ability as a homemaker.

He described how the mother of three's depression was crippling and she spent a lot of time on the couch or in bed.

Baden-Clay, 43, told the Brisbane Supreme Court how he had to work near his home so he could rush home when she needed him and had wired up an intercom from the home office in the garage to their house so he could be in the house in 10 seconds if she panicked.

Even after the time psychiatrist Dr Tom George said Mrs Baden-Clay was no longer suffering anxiety and depression, Baden-Clay testified his wife was not coping "on her own" and he would have to help.

He said caring for the children "took a lot out of her emotionally and physically".

"So that when she wasn't out in public presenting that calm facade and looking after the children, she would, collapse is too strong a word, but once she was at home, often at home with (the youngest daughter) she would just collapse on the couch," he said.

"When I got home, often it was just a handover and I would look after the girls and Allison would go to bed."

But Baden-Clay, in a real estate publicity blog entitled Mr Mum! on November 27, 2008, announced to the world how he had renewed respect for his wife's hard work.

Mrs Baden-Clay was having a weekend away with her best friend at the Golden Door health spa and her husband said he was struggling to fill her shoes.

"Whilst she has been enjoying the rest and quietude, I have been trying to manage the house and transport my three girls to all of their activities - and I am knackered!" he wrote.

"It's a bit of a cliche that most men have no idea how hard it is to run a household, and I thought that I was pretty in tune with the day-to-day routine, but I can honestly say that this week has given me a real insight into the challenges of managing a family.

"Waking up, getting dressed, having breakfast, making lunches, getting to school, collecting from school, bath, cook dinner, eat dinner, homework, teeth, bed!

"And that doesn't include any extracurricular activities like ballet, swimming and music! And, I haven't done any vacuuming, dusting, cleaning or a single load of washing!

"In amongst all of this 'domestic duty', I've also been trying to squeeze in some work and assistance with running this business.

"I certainly have a renewed respect for all of the hard work that goes into being a 'homemaker', and the pleasure of being able to spend some more quality time with my three beautiful girls.

"I'll certainly be more understanding in the future when I come home from work and find that dinner isn't on the table with my foot spa pre-warmed!"

Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller tried to use the blog to discredit testimony Baden-Clay gave during his murder trial about his wife's mental health impairing her function.

"He's made some statements with respect to his wife's ability to cope, how he was involved in the household," he said.

"There was evidence led in the Crown case as to her state of mental health a considerable period of time prior to 2012 while she was under psychiatric care.

"There had been no real suggestion of incapacity after that date until the accused gave evidence that during 2007 and 2008 ... that there was an incapacity."


Defence barrister Michael Byrne said the blog entry described one week in the life of the family, and Allison's state of poor mental health was not "a constant state of inability or incapacity, it was a fluctuating state of affairs which went up and down".

Justice John Byrne said the document acknowledged Mrs Baden-Clay managed all activities concerning the children at least satisfactorily.

He said it had some potential to bear on Baden-Clay's credit but it would be an exercise in mental gymnastics to decide what went to credit and what went to issues.

The document was excluded.

Topics:  allison baden-clay gerard baden-clay murder murder trial

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